NEW DELHI, Dec 16 (Reuters) – India, a leading buyer of Russian oil, does not expect its fuel exports to be disrupted by a European Union ban on the purchase of Russian refined fuels beginning Feb. 5, oil secretary Pankaj Jain said on Friday.
Indian refiners have been gorging on Russian oil sold at a discount as some Western entities shun purchases from Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Some Indian refiners process Russian oil and ship the refined products to the west, including Europe.
Jain said the Feb 5 action bars the EU from importing refined fuels from Russia and not from any other country.
The European Union will ban Russian oil product imports, on which it relies heavily for its diesel, by Feb. 5.
“(The) next trigger point is Feb. 5. Unless something dramatic happens geopolitically .. we are in a steady state,” Jain said.
So far Indian companies are not facing any problems in procuring Russian oil, Jain added.
The EU, G7 nations and Australia introduced $60 per barrel price caps on Russian oil, effective from Dec. 5, on top of the EU’s embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea.
The EU ban on imports of Russia’s seaborne oil has driven Moscow to seek alternative markets, mainly in Asia, for about 1 million barrels per day.
Indian companies are buying Russian oil at below price cap level, sources told Reuters earlier this week.
Jain said Indian companies are not facing any problems in paying for Russian oil as the latest actions by the West do not impact trade settlement mechanisms.
Reporting by Nidhi Verma in New Delhi; Editing by Bill Berkrot
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